George R. Bolling I
August 4, 1920 – March 22, 2007
Graduation Date: 7/3/1942
Unit: 332nd Fighter Group, 99th Fighter Squadron
Service # 0789961
George Richard Bolling I was born on August 4, 1920 at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia. He was the son of Edward A. Bolling Sr. (25 Jun 1884 – 20 May 1958) and Georgia A. Bridgeforth Bolling (Jan 1885 – 23 May 1946) of Lunenburg County, Virginia who married in 1916.
Bolling had three siblings: brother Roscoe Howard Bolling (January 30, 1924 – January 30, 1924 -died in childbirth), sister Gladys Bolling Fletcher (May 6, 1922 – April 20, 2007), a Hampton Institute and Atlanta University-trained school librarian, and brother Edward Alfonzo Bolling Jr. (February 11, 1918 – Dec. 17, 1997), an agriculture engineering instructor and 17-year manager of Hampton Institute’s campus farm and U.S. international agricultural advisor to the federal government.
Bolling attended all-black Whittier Elementary and Phenix High School in Hampton, Virginia. After graduating from high school, Bolling majored in engineering at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), graduating in 1940.
Bolling married Dolores Bolling (July 25, 1924 – Feb. 22, 2014) of Apalachicola, Florida. Raised in Tallahassee, Florida, Dolores completed a bachelor’s degree at Florida A & M University where she pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Dolores relocated to Columbus, Ohio to live with Bolling who was stationed at Columbus Air Force Base. While in Columbus, Dolores earned a master’s degree in Biology at Ohio State University. As the U.S. Air Force reassigned Bolling, the Bollings relocated throughout the U.S and Japan. After the family relocated to San Jose, California, Dolores taught biology at Sheppard Middle School for eight years.
Bolling and Dolores had three sons: George R. “Ricky” Bolling II, John Raymond Bolling, and Frank Daniel Bolling. They also had one granddaughter, Francine M. Bolling.
Bolling left Hampton Institute after being recruited into the U.S. Army Air Corps. On July 3, 1942, Bolling graduated from the Tuskegee Flight School’s Single Engine Section Cadet Class SE-42-F, receiving his wings and commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. After graduation he was assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group’s 99th Fighter Squadron.
During combat missions, he was shot down twice. On July 11, 1943, his aircraft was hit by an enemy ship’s anti-aircraft artillery, he bailed from his plane, landing in the Mediterranean, where he was rescued by boat after three days at sea.
In 1961, he retired from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of Major.
After leaving the U.S. Air Force, Bolling joined the U.S. Postal Service in San Jose, California, working there for 20 years.
Bolling died on March 22, 2007, in San Jose, California. He was interred at Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose, California.